Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the editor-at-large at The American Prospect and a columnist for The Washington Post. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org

Recent Articles

Gaga and Bennett: Making a Great American Art Form Hip Again

Jazz singers don’t usually rise to the top of the charts, but Cheek to Cheek topped Billboard’s list of best-sellers in the week after its release.

PBS
T ony Bennett has long been as much a jazz singer as a pop singer, though I readily acknowledge that the distinction between the two has always been fuzzy. This has been particularly true throughout the second coming of his career—his rise again to popular and critical acclaim over the past two decades. The onetime crooner and belter of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” can’t quite hold those long notes like he used to or glissando up and down the scale without an occasional unintended bump. The marvel is, he’s still a great singer at age 88, in no small part by jazzing his singing even more than he used to. Bennett’s new album with Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek , is an exhilarating textbook, if such a thing may be, of jazz singing, in which Gaga, prodded by Bennett’s foxy grandpa, discovers her inner Ella Fitzgerald. Jazz singers don’t usually rise to the top of the charts, but Cheek to Cheek topped Billboard ’s list of best-sellers in the week after its release, and a concert version...

The Seeds of a New Labor Movement

SEIU’s David Rolf—virtuoso organizer and mastermind of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage campaign—says labor needs radically new ways to champion worker interests. 

This article is from the Fall 2014 issue of The American Prospect magazine.

When Guns Trample Speech, Do We Have a Democracy?

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) People protest on the campus of Utah State, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Logan, Utah. Utah's campus gun laws are in the spotlight after a feminist speaker canceled a speech at Utah State University once she learned the school would allow concealed firearms despite an anonymous threat against her. School officials in Logan were set to go ahead with the event with extra police after consulting with federal and state law enforcement who told them the threat was consistent with ones Anita Sarkeesian receives when she gives speeches elsewhere. D on’t look now, but I think the Second Amendment just stomped on the First. Last week, the New York Times reported on the death and rape threats to which Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist cultural critic, has been subjected to for challenging the stereotyped images of women in video games. A number of the malignant little dweebs upset by her criticism of the violent sexism that characterizes some games have waged what the Times...

The Targeting of Young Blacks By Law Enforcement: Ben Jealous in Conversation With Jamelle Bouie

What will it take to reshape America’s police departments, and curtail the unprompted police killings that beset us still?

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Protesters hold a sign that reads "Don't Shoot" as they attend an evening rally Tuesday, August 19, 2014, in Tacoma, Washington. Several hundred people attended the peaceful gathering to show support for protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, where the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown has sparked nightly clashes between protesters and police. This article is from the Fall 2014 issue of The American Prospect magazine. W hile the election of Barack Obama as president may have seemed to some to herald a new era in American race relations, the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, made clear that one of the venerable flash points in race relations—the police (or in the case of Sanford, self-appointed police) killings of young black men—is very much still with us. Discriminatory police treatment of African Americans remains one of the hardiest perennials in American life, as the “stop-and-frisk” tactic that...

Labor's New Groove: Taking the Struggle From Streets to Legislatures

(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
(AP Photo/Paul Beaty) Demonstrators rally for better wages outside a McDonald's restaurant in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. Demonstrations planned in 100 cities are part of push by labor unions, worker advocacy groups and Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25. L abor Day, 2014, comes at a time when Americans have concluded—correctly—that their country is downwardly mobile. In a Rutgers University poll released last week, 71 percent of Americans said they believed the changes to the economy caused by the Great Recession are permanent. (Asked the same question in November 2009, just 49 percent chose the “permanent” option.) Only 14 percent agreed with the description of American workers as “happy at work,” while 68 percent said American workers were “highly stressed” and 70 percent agreed they were “not secure in their jobs.” The economic data released last week confirm Americans’ pessimism. In a study for the Economic Policy Institute, economist Elise Gould reported...

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